Research has found that more than a fifth of Brits have disposed of at least one working computer in the last five years in favour of a newer model.

This means that more than 13.87m computers have been binned in the last five years by Brits, according to Crucial.

Of all those that disposed of an old computer, 18% gave their old computer to someone else, and only 14% recycled it. This leaves 9.4m computers that have potentially reached the end of their working life.

What about the data?

Whilst this huge amount of eWaste is concerning enough in its own right; another concern is what has happened to all the data stored on these devices.

One would hope that they have been disposed of responsibly through trusted WEEE recyclers. However, we know that this is unlikely to be the case.

If you dispose of a computer without properly destroying all the data stored on it, whoever next takes possession of that device may be able to access your business’ sensitive data.

In fact, more data is leaked from businesses via human error, such as not properly disposing of your old systems, than is stolen by hackers.

Why are people disposing of their PCs?

Research shows that people are ditching working systems because they’ve slowed down, take too long to turn on or freeze too often. Frustratingly, all these are fixable meaning that eWaste is being created for no real reason.

Brits are choosing to spend an excessive amount on purchasing new computers. Instead, they could restore their new machine for as little as £40 with a simple upgrade that doesn’t require any technical skills.

On average, Brits have owned two computers in the last five years and are replacing their PCs much more than business users who replace laptops every 3-4 years.

Budget devices

The issue appears to be that many people buy “budget” computers for less than £500, which often come with smaller amounts of RAM and slower hard drives. This means that the computer could begin to struggle after a short amount of time.

Rather than disposing of a slow device, it could be upgraded by installing a larger amount of RAM and an SSD to improve performance and extend its lifetime.

Alternatively, refurbished equipment could be considered from the outset which allows people to purchase a much more powerful device, often for the same, if not less, than they would pay for a brand new “budget” device.

If a computer has reached the end of its lifespan, then it is imperative that it is properly disposed of, and not sent to a landfill. Electronics contain several hazardous components that poison the land around it. In addition to this, mining for the precious metals required to produce new equipment can be harmful to the environment.

If you would like to chat to someone at Tier 1 about disposing of your unwanted computers then call us on 0161 777 1000.

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